Climate Change Assignment: Impact of Climatic conditions on Tourism
Task: In this climate change assignment, you are to identify the major climate change related issues facing the tourism industry. Focusing on mitigation, adaptation and sustainability, discuss the potential impact these factors might have in coming decades.
The term climate changeexplored in the climate change assignment is used to describe the changes taking place in the average conditions of the regions such as the temperature and rainfall levels over a period of time. In other words, climate change is a shift in the regional or global climate patterns over a long term. The current climate change has resulted largely due to human activity such as burning of fossil fuels like oil, natural gas and coal. Greenhouse gases are released in the atmosphere of earth due to burning of such materials which increases earth’s average temperature and cause global warming. Tourism industry is greatly connected with the climate. This is because the tourisms prefer visiting those countries which have a pleasant climate and do not choose destinations where there is a climate of severe heat waves, drought, etc.
The purpose of this climate change assignmentis to identify the major issues related to climate change faced by the tourism industry. It also focuses on factors like mitigation, adaptation and sustainability and discusses its possible impacts in the coming decades. Furthermore, this report discusses the potential impact of climate change on the long term sustainability of coastal areas.Coastal areas are one of the most popular destination types for the tourists. It also outlines the adaptation strategies which are available for coping up with the adverse effects of climate change at the destination level.
Major Climate Change Factor Affecting Tourism
There is a great impact of the climate change factors on the direct demand of tourism of the regions and affects the period of the trip, choice of the destination. Such impact on the tourism industry depends on the geographical location and the activity type of the area. Asia’s high altitude region such as the Himalayan range and Tibetan plateau are facing the consequences of climate change like glacier floods, glacier floods and glacial lake outbursts. There is a great decrease in the glacier coverage of the Himalayan ranges along with a decrease in the variability and rainfall extremes in Nepal. Furthermore, it is also found that that the 5000glaciers in China have undergone rapid shrinking recently due to which glacial floods have resulted in the low lying areas (Jones and Phillips, 2017). A decline in tourism can also be noticed in the countries like Taiwan which have national parks as the natural attractions due to irregularities in rainfall. Rising temperatures have affected some of the Middle Eastern countries like Iran which have further resulted in severe heat waves and problem of availability of water thereby declining the inflow of tourists in the area. The increase of 2°C temperature have further increased the concerns as it has the capability of altering the sea-sonal snow cover depth across Austria thereby leading to shortened ski season and limited ski tourism(Siddiqui and Imran, 2019). Therefore, a number of ski resorts are making the use of artificial snowmaking for supplementing natural snow for extending the season and improving reliability. The activity of tourists and their safety is also influenced due to the occurrence of extreme weather events such as drought, flood, sea level rise (SLR), infectious disease, wildfire, etc. (Semenza and Ebi, 2019).
There are various diseases that thrive in the climates which are warmer. It also spread or carried to other countries as a result of movement of goods and people. For example, malaria carrying mosquito and dengue carrying mosquito are never found in the colder climates but are usually found in Southeast Asia and Africa i.e. the tropical countries. However, the earth is becoming warmer with the passage of time which, in turn, is leading to the creation of suitable environment for the sustenance of such mosquitos in other nations as well. This factor outlined in the climate change assignment affects tourism as holidaymakers avoid such destinations that are a source of fatal illness (Cardona, Ferreira and Lopes, 2020).
Mitigation, Adaptation and Sustainability
Mitigation, adaption and sustainability are considered to be important concepts as these are expected to have a great impact in the coming decades.Mitigation can be defined as the set of measures which involves actions taken for reducing and curbing the emissions of greenhouse gases. The avoidance of increased pollutant emissions can be ensured with the help of mitigation measures such as practicing energy efficiency, electrification of the processes undertaken by the industries, making greater utilization of renewable energy, increasing the utilization of efficient means of transportation such as bicycle, electric public transport, shared cars, etc. The main goal behind mitigation is the avoidance of interference of the humans with the climate system along with ensuring the stabilization of levels of greenhouse gases in a timeframe which is sufficient for allowing the adaptation of ecosystems to climate change naturally. In the coming decades, these measures will enable the proceeding of economic development in a sustainable manner (Favretto, Dougill, Stringer, Afionis and Quinn, 2018).
As per the research on climate change assignment, adaptation can be defined as the adjustments made in the human or natural systems in response to the expected or actual climate stimuli or its impacts through which the harm is moderated or beneficial opportunities can be exploited. In other words, adaptation measures focus on the reduction of the vulnerability to the impacts of climate change. In the coming decades, the potential impacts of adaptation measures can be noticed as it will assist in the reduction of vulnerability to the climate change consequences. The actions which can be taken as the part of adaptation measures are reforestation and natural landscape (landscape restoration), research and development on temperature behavior, probable catastrophes, diverse and flexible cultivation for natural catastrophes, more secure infrastructures and facility locations, precautionary and preventive measures relating to health issues, evacuation plans, etc. (Owusu and Asumadu- Sarkodie, 2016).
Furthermore, the concept of sustainability is concerned with meeting the requirements of the present generation without making any kind of compromise with the future generation’s capability to meet their needs. Sustainability comprises of the three main pillars i.e. social, environmental and economic which are also referred to as people, planet and profits. In the coming decades, the impact of sustainable practices can be seen on the quality of environment which will also result in healthy communities as they will get natural resources, clean air and non- toxic environment. Sustainability further includes the health of the air, land and sea. It will also play an important role in tacking the impacts of climate change and pollution and will lead to the creation of stronger economies (Di Gregorio, et. al. 2017).
What is the impact of climate change at the destination level discussed in the climate change assignment?
Tourism is an industry which is greatly dependent on climate. The popularity of many countries is the result of their pleasant climate. Climate change affects different destination types in a different manner. Coastal and beach ecosystems are considered to be diverse, richest and productive habitants on this earth which have a unique transition area between ocean, land and atmosphere. Coastal areas comprise of mangroves, forests, savannas, shrubs, salt marshes, estuaries, barrier islands, coastal habitats and sand dunes. It can further be argued that the coastal areas have their own unique identitywhere approximately 40 percent of the population lives within the area of 60 km of sea and is regarded to be 20 per cent of the total surface of the population area of the earth. Due to this, coastal areas are considered among the most remarkable destination for the tourists and a significant contributor to the economies of various nations with small islands (Stephenson and Jones, 2017).
Climate change has become a threat for such type of destinations as it has impacted such places in the form of sinking islands, changing coastal boundaries, and intrusion of sea water through melted glacier. The melting of glaciers has resulted in the rise of the sea levels which, in turn, have led to the changes in coastal areas and shorelines in place like Cua Dai located in Central Vietnam. This place is a major spot of tourism and has witnesses a major change in shoreline in the past 50 years as a result of climate change. It has further led to the shifting of river mouth to the south and is expected to have major consequences on the habitat destruction and biodiversity. It is identified that the climate change resulting out of wave activity is further expected to have changes in the shoreline in future. The study of India’s Paradip Port provides that the intensification of the waves are expected in up to 19 per cent in future and can lead to increase in the shoreline shift rate and sediment drift in response to change in climate (McField, 2017).
As per the views of Papageorgiou (2016) considered in this segment of climate change assignment, the growth of tourism in case of Andaman and Nicobar Island is also high as it is another popular coastal area of the world. This area is a part of Union of India and is extended to Thailand and is known of the range of fauna and flora and rich scenic beauty. The climate change projections of the region provide that the area is expected to experience an increase in the temperature of more than 3°C which, in turn, will lead to an increase in the precipitation equal to 8 per cent, warmer days, longer dry season and 1- 2 mm increase in the sea level annually. The shrinking of islands has also been noticed in case of various islands such as Vann Island (Gulf of Mannar) which is located in the south east coast of India. A reduction and inundation of 84 per cent of the Island has been noticed by the sea water and is predicted to be submerged completely by the year 2022.
According to Cashman and Nagdee (2017), the above changes have influenced tourism industry significantly and have become a matter of concern for the tourists in making selection of the destination. Such change in climate can also result in migration of the local population to different location which will create an impact on the economic growth of such areas. The loss in shorelines and coastal areas can destroy the habitats of various species which are ecologically sensitive leading to biodiversity extinction. Special management plans are required by these places for the development of strong infrastructure and future. In such cases, the use of modern techniques such as satellite imagery and GIS are regraded to be helpful. Further research is also required in order to develop a better understanding of the issues such that proper measures can be taken for the purpose of dealing with it.
Type of Adaptation Strategies That may be implemented at The Destination Level
There are a number of adaptation strategies that can be implementation at the destination level i.e. in the coastal areas for dealing with the impact of climate change. This will slowly result in increasing the tourism in these areas. In the coastal areas, preference should be given to building- with- nature solutions as a part of the adaptation strategy for the purpose of renewing the infrastructural works of the coastal areas whenever the end of their life span is reached. The example of such works includes shoreface/ beach/ dune nourishments and wetland restoration (Leal Filho, 2018).
Defending is also one of the strategies which can protect the assets in the coastal areas from the detrimental impacts of flooding. This involves constructing seawalls and adopting reforestation for the riparian areas. The disadvantages of this strategy are limited to the financial costs involved which depend on the circumstances. This can be explained with the help of an example of Saibai, which is among the 300 islands of Torres Strait Islands. This island has implemented defensive measures as the area is prone to flooding. This measure has been selected because the area experiences the sea level rise of twice that of coastal erosion, global rate and extreme weather events. Large costs are involved in the building of seawalls across the island equivalent to $24.5 million and were inaugurated by the government in the year 2017 (Kettle and Dow, 2016).
Another adaptation strategy illustrated in the climate change assignmentwhich can be implemented in case of coastal areas is the adjustment of design criteria for the purpose of extending the lifetime of infrastructural works through the incorporation of expected rise in the sea level in the renovation scheme or periodic maintenance. Furthermore, spatial reservations can also be made for nature development which can later serve for the purpose of realignment or future reinforcement of coastal defenses (Sheaves, et. al. 2016). Moreover, setback lines can also be introduced for the gradual settlements in the high risk areas in future for nature development with protective function (for example, mangrove development and stimulating the growth of dunes). These adaptation strategies will play an important role in making adjustments in the human or natural systems in response to the expected or actual climate stimuli and will result in the creation of a favorable environment in the coastal areas. When the environment of the coastal areas will be favorable, it will lead to an increase in tourism. Such adaptation strategies will ensure that there is no flooding in the coastal areas.Furthermore, the redesigning of infrastructure after considering the rise in the sea level will ensure that their lifetime is extending and they are capable of serving of the tourists in a better way (Gohari, Mirchi and Madani, 2017).
Therefore, it can be concludedin this climate change assignment that there is a major impact of climate change on tourism. This report on climate change assignment focused on the impacts of mitigation, adaptation and sustainability in the coming years. It further provided the impact of climate change in case of coastal areas and highlighted adaptation strategies for the minimization of its adverse impact.The term climate change is concerned with the changes that take place in the average conditions of regions over a period of time. Tourism is affected by climate change factors such as glacier floods, high rainfall, severe heat waves, problem of water availability, drought, seal level rise, spread of infectious disease, etc. However, the adoption of mitigation, adaptation and sustainability measures can impact climate change in the coming decades. Coastal areas are mostly preferred by the tourists as the travel destination; however, climate change factors will create a negative impact on tourism in these areas. The rise in sea level, melting of glaciers, destruction of biodiversity, shrinking of islands, etc. are the impact on climate change at the destination level. Various adaptation strategies which can be implemented in case of coastal areas are defense, wetland restoration, adjustment of design criteria in design works, realignment of coastal defenses, etc.
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